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S/2004 S 3

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S/2004 S 3
S/2004 S 3, as imaged by Cassini-Huygens on June 21, 2004 (NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute)
Discovery
Discovered by Carl Murray et al., 2004 / Cassini-Huygens
Discovered on 21 June, 2004
Orbital characteristics
Semimajor axis 140,580 km
Eccentricity 0.0?
Orbital period 0.62095 d
Inclination 0°?
Is a satellite of Saturn
Physical characteristics
Mean diameter 4-5 km
Rotation period probably synchronous
Axial tilt
Albedo 0.6?
Atmosphere none

S/2004 S 3 is the provisional designation of an unconfirmed moon of Saturn. It was discovered by Carolyn C. Porco and the Cassini Imaging Team in images taken by the Cassini-Huygens probe on June 21, 2004, and announced on September 9, 2004.

The moon is believed to be 3-5 km in diameter and orbits just beyond Saturn's F Ring, inside the orbit of Pandora. It seems to be a shepherd satellite for the outer edge of Saturn's F ring. Scientists cannot yet definitively say if the object is a moon or a temporary clump of ring material.

Another possible moon, S/2004 S 4, was sighted nearby shortly afterward, but this time inside the F Ring. Since it is not certain how a moon's orbit could cross a ring, scientists are currently assuming that they have discovered two separate objects, but the possibility that they have found a ring-crossing moon cannot yet be discounted.

References


... | S/2004 S 4 | S/2004 S 3 | Pandora | ...


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